We’ve all been there, you’re driving along and suddenly you hear the unfortunate repetitive thumping noise of a flat tire. What comes next is the removal of that tire and either the addition of your spare vehicle or the process of patching your punctured tire. No matter what you do, a portable tire inflator comes in handy to get and keep your tires at the correct air pressure level.

If you patch the tire you need a way to pump it up, and that’s where a portable tire inflator comes in. Even if you just pop on your spare tire, often that spare is underinflated, which means a portable tire inflator is the exact tool you need. Here are a few of the best units out there.

JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator Pump

tire inflator

The JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator Pump is one of the best out there for the price. You set the target PSI level for your tire and it will pump right up to that limit and then automatically shut off. It’s 10-foot long power cord and 24-inch air hose makes getting to your tires easy, too. Simply plug this unit into your cigar 12V outlet and you’re ready to pump up those tires.

Buy Now $40

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor

tire inflator

The VIAR 85P Portable Air Compressor is a well-built unit that comes with its own carrying case and can be easily stowed in your trunk or cargo area. The unit uses your 12V outlet and has a 10-foot power cord, and can inflate tires in just a couple minutes. You’ll have to keep an eye on the pressure gauge on the top of the unit as it does not automatically shut off once you’ve reached the correct pressure. While that’s not ideal, the unit can pump up 31-inch tires if needed, which is more than many other compressors can do.

Buy Now $45

P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator

tire inflator

The P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator is a good compressor for more than just your car. With a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, you can pump up tires on just about anything. Its overall reach is 13 feet, giving you access to all your tires no matter what you’re driving. Like the JACO unit, the P.I. Auto Store Premium Digital Tire Inflator will stop pumping air once the tire reaches the prescribed level.

Buy Now $40

SuperFlow 12V HD Air Compressor Tire Inflator


The SuperFlow 12V HD Air Compressor Tire Inflator is significantly more expensive, but it’s also simply a better unit. The compressor can inflate a 37-inch tire in under two minutes, has a rugged construction, a 24-foot coil hose, an inline pressure gauge, and a 150 PSI pressure capability. It’s perfect for large 4x4 trucks and SUVs and can do anything smaller than that too. If you get the SuperFlow air compressor, you’ll likely never need another tool like this again.

Buy Now $178